With Texas pitcher Ryan Dempster getting a win against the Orioles on Monday, that leaves two candidates for the biggest busts among pitchers acquired in trades before July 31.
That distinction goes to either the Angels’ Zack Greinke or the Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez. The Pirates’ Wandy Rodriguez should be in the mix, but while he’s not helping the Pirates, he hasn’t been as bad as Greinke or Sanchez.
Sanchez has a 7.79 ERA since moving from Miami to Detroit. He was supposed to fill the back of the rotation that has Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister. But at least that trade also brought the Tigers Omar Infante, who has stabilized second base for them.
Greinke has a 6.19 ERA and the Angels gave up high-powered prospects for him. He’s eligible for free agency after the season, and so if he doesn’t pitch the Angels deep into the postseason, the Angels will lose big-time.
* It’s difficult to believe that Roger Clemens, 50, after being cleared of perjury charges related to alleged use of steroids, will pitch Saturday for the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters, a member of an independent Atlantic League. This makes Clemens the new Jose Canseco, and that can’t be good for Clemens’ reputation. Clemens’ manager is Gary Gaetti, the player who hit the first big-league grand slam against Clemens.
* At this point, pitcher Wei-Yin Chen has got to be the Orioles’ Most Valuable Player, but when was the last time the Orioles had a list of players that could claim that title? There’s a strong case for either outfielder Nick Markakis and Adam Jones and relief pitchers Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson.
* Here’s hoping there’s a three-way tie in the wild card races in the American League and National League. Then we’d get to see two one-game playoffs in each league just to determine who goes to the one-game play-in game.
* The Angels’ Mike Trout is having an incredible season, but the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera could be the AL MVP. Cabrera is the first player in the majors to have 100 RBIs this season. With the way that the Angels are fading, Trout might not even be the top rookie, especially with the way Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore is pitching.
* Outside of the Astros making a change, firing managers hasn’t been a topic of conversation this season. Will the Angels’ Mike Scioscia be held accountable for the team’s pitching inconsistencies? Same question could be asked of two other managers, the Twins’ Ron Gardenhire and Cleveland’s Manny Acta.
* Good leadoff batters are difficult to find, but the Braves might have the best. Michael Bourn has five consecutive seasons of at least 30 steals, and going into Monday night, he had a .399 on-base percentage in the Braves’ first 70 victories. He had a .282 on-base percentage when the Braves lose.
* The A’s are a hot team, but apparently Oakland doesn’t take note: There was a crowd of 10,274 for a home game Monday night.